who can really tell, these days,
which are the days that matter—
if there are days that matter
because significance is insignificant
if you can stop time enough to think about it

these days are so slow
and sometimes too fast
because i am hurting through them,
i like to believe that hurting through my days is
at least it will end up
when the breath of my dog is short
or the breath of my mother becomes shallow
that’s where we’re going anyway

my god
these days i don’t know which way is up
or down
or forward
or backward

but this isn’t a sad change,
a sad ending,
a sad grief

“it can be good,” my therapist says,
“we can be good—
we can even grieve the good things
because change is inevitable
it pushes you to move,”
but god
that’s an awful cliche

and, hello,
have you ever noticed how difficult it is to speak about love?
give me a minute to tell you about my depression
and the images will break a dam

an empty room
a crowded space
a leather chair in the heat of the day
the prison cell he locked me in when he tried to suffocate me on the rehearsal room floor
“quiet,” he said. “quiet, okay?”
i stared at the ceiling, waited for it to turn into something
i could crawl through
or scream through—
whichever came first

yesterday, it transformed
yesterday, I think I was born

this grief suddenly looks a little more like
a little more like
a little more like
and truth
and spirit
and soul

I am
more than who i thought i would turn into

a waif in an empty amphitheater,
my stifled power,
now standing silently at the front of a church building
giving way to the person
I had always been
but thought much less of
on a rehearsal room floor